Schools around the country have spent the last year beefing up security. One of the most popular ways is hiring a uniformed officer. Our Barry Wygel has the story of one North Country school where leaders say the officer can serve many purposes.
MALONE, N.Y. -- It's a problem that school officials have been diligently working on.
"What really spurred the conversation again was tragically when Sandy Hook happened about a year ago," said Jerry Griffin, Superintendent of the Malone School District.
The Malone School District had been in talks to bring a uniformed officer back into their schools for years, but in light of recent tragedies, the necessary parties were brought back together.
"Basically, we just put our heads together to talk about school safety," said Griffin.
The school board expressed support and put aside money to place a school resource officer on the district's payroll. Not only can the officer provide a uniformed presence inside of the schools, but can act, as the title implies, as a resource for both students and staff.
"We want them to be helpful for people, for questions, concerns, safety issues that they want to discuss, if they are having problems outside of school," said Griffin.
The officer will be based at the high school, but will also have an office in the middle school and will consult with all five buildings in the district.
"It's all just a hiring process now. Everything else has been approved," said Griffin.
District officials say the post will probably attract a recently retired police officer and will help free up other district administrators to concentrate on other tasks.
"I think people would be surprised how much time our school based administrators at the middle school and high school spend on these legal issues," said Griffin.
Most important of all, the officer will provide students and staff with an increased sense of safety as they walk into school each day.
The district hopes to have the officer in the schools within the next couple months.